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Floor Speeches

Reducing Non-Security Spending to FY2008 Levels or Less

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor today as someone willing to work towards reforms that will create jobs, strengthen our middle class, and pay down our debt. I am in favor of comprehensive tax reform with lower rates. I'm in favor of removing regulations that hurt competitiveness. I'm ready to make the hard cuts we need to pay down our deficit. I think we can all agree on those principles. We might have to change some of the policies, but we agree on the principles. But what we have here today contains no policies, no ideas, and very few principles.

   This is a budgetless resolution. It calls for a reduction in spending to pre-2008 levels but provides no specifics. What family in America would sit down at the kitchen table and set up a budget without a bottom line?

   We could be here discussing Mr. Ryan's idea to replace Medicaid with vouchers. We could be here discussing the plan to cut public education spending 50 percent and to eliminate Amtrak and public broadcasting. Let's discuss those things. Or we could be debating the plan Majority Leader Cantor hailed, which would result in the absence of 4,000 FBI agents and 1,500 DEA agents. We may disagree with those policies, but I am here to work to solve problems. And to say we will drop spending levels up to 30 percent but provide no specifics is being less than genuine.

   Colin Powell recently said this: "I am very put off when people just say let's go back and freeze to the level 2 years ago. Tell me what you're going to cut, and nobody up there yet is being very, very candid about what they are going to cut to fix the problem.''

   The public has been very clear; job creation should be our top priority. So far we have abandoned the principles of pay-as-you-go and added $230 billion to the deficit by repealing--you voted for it--health care.

   Before us is yet another piece of legislation being used as a political gimmick instead of an honest conversation to seek out compromise with the purpose of aiding the economy. As a new member of the Budget Committee, I am willing and eager to work hard to find comprehensive, bipartisan solutions to strengthening our economy. Please let me know when you're ready to sit down and talk and work.


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